Bake Your Own Pie: The Inequality of Value Creation
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Bake Your Own Pie: The Inequality of Value Creation


So in my view, when people earn money by creating
value, who are we to then come and say, “We need to take your money away,” in the name
of what? To give it to somebody else who hasn’t created
that value. We often hear this analogy of a pie. You know? Yo- y- y- a bunch of friends get together
and there’s a discussion about how you’re gonna divide the pie. And the assumption is always you should divide
it up about equally because, you know, we’re all a bunch of friends, and we’re all gonna
eat about the same, and that seems right. And we assume that wealth is a pie, and that
we’re gonna divvy up, therefore, it should be divvied up about the same. But why? First of all, the pie is such a bad analogy. I hate the pie analogy, because the pie is
fixed. Wealth is created. Wealth is constantly growing through trade,
through creation, through production, through the provision of services. The pie is constantly growing. So, to assume that it’s fixed, and therefore
we know shou- we haven’t, we know exactly how to divvy it up is bizarre. But there’s even a more insidious problem
with the pie analogy, which everybody loves to use. And that is, that there’s such a thing as
a pie. But there isn’t. There’s the pie you make, and the pie I make,
and the pie they make, that person makes over there. We each make our own pie. You don’t get to squish all the pies together
and create some kind of social pie, and then decide how to divide it up. You don’t have a right to take my pie and
squish it into your pie, and then split it equally. It’s my pie, because I built it. I created it. And you created your pie and
you have every right to do what you will with your pie. I deserve the pie that I bake. You deserve the pie that you bake. Nobody has a right to take my pie away and
give it away to somebody else. So the whole idea of, of this pie is, is a,
is a, is a ridiculous analogy. It’s the collectivization of wealth. But wealth is not collective. There is no social wealth. There is no wealth of America. Yes, economists can add up all these numbers
and, and, and put them all together into an equation, but that doesn’t make it society’s
wealth. Wealth is individual. Wealth is individual. It’s each one of us. We are responsible for our own lives. We are responsible for our own creation, for
our own work, for the energy, the effort, the intensity we put, the focus we place in
our work and what we do. So, you deserve the pie that you make.

16 Comments

  • Sai

    So if A inherits a bakery, mill, and fruit farm, and B inherits nothing, it's totally fair for them to each make and keep their own pies. La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues et de voler du pain. Right?

  • Jonathan Bradshaw

    The argument in this video made no sense whatsoever but the guy making it said "pie" so many times that now I can't stop thinking about pie. I want some pie.

  • Diego Trollface

    As an Objectivist myself, thank The Federalist Society for animating one of Brook's talks. I've been waiting for this to happen for years.

    About damn time!

  • Toby Flenderson

    How anyone buys into this ideology is genuinely interesting especially if you are working class. If wealth creation is individual then what are workers? Further more if everything we do in a society is inherently individualistic then why have a society or a collective? Society: the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. What incentive do any regular not stinky rich surfs have to be members of society if the collective gains aren't distributed? Especially if we are contributing. What incentive do any of us have to contribute in the first place if were all just individual. If this is the case I much prefer us all actually earning our keep in a hunting and gathering style world, that way it would be a true meritocracy & time would tell who are the actual hard working folks when no one has notions of wealth as "proof" that they work harder or smarter than anyone else in the world.

  • edsparkable

    Just because you made more "pie" than some other guy using the society that was built to make that wealth possible doesn't give you the right to get out of paying your fair share of taxes. If it wasn't for the 99% you wouldn't even have a pie.

  • Samantha Davies

    This assumes everyone has relatively similar access to pie ingredients and an oven.

    Besides, the pie analogy is used by conservatives, not liberals or socialist anyway. But go ahead and delve deeply into the pie analogy to make your point.

  • Isaac Koenen

    So by this logic, it's definitely not a problem that 6 people have more wealth that HALF OF THE ENTIRE WORLD'S POPULATION. Because those six people worked harder than 3.5 billion people combined, right? There's so many holes to poke in this argument.

  • Terry Tater

    Automation is the thing creating value. We're not gonna pretend that one person created that technology, so he can collect free money for his family, forever.. Value doesn't reach the consumer anyway. Cars cost, exactly the same as they used to, even though robots and foreigners make them. The economy keeps growing with debt, and it's crushing the American public. The auto industry bailout, pushed used cars from circulation, just to force the next generation to borrow.. Thousands of used cars sit at, cars for kids, parking lots so the kids could live in debt from day one.. .. You're all thieves..

  • EZ E

    Your basic premise in 0:04 looking at that chart is what You 'value.' The reality is everybody isn't equal in how and what they can create as to what You call 'value'. The under producer, the unfortunate, the one who cannot produce and is in need actually produces an opportunity for the rest of the 'individuals' to help them, to exercise kindness, to give to them what they need and it inspires within each of these 'individuals' a 'VALUE' greater….far greater than what You can picture on Your chart. Who is of greater value, the teacher of the kindergarten class of 35 or the teacher of the 10 disabled kids or the multi-billion dollar executive?? Or how about the one who will be cleaning the body of that executive when they've deficated themselves, or spilled their food, or cannot walk anymore in their old age? There are many people with Superior 'Value' that will not be on Your chart of 'value.' What You are talking about is greed. That is not a value to anybody, especially not a nation. If that were the case the USA would never be a nation of mixed languages, races, cultures, ideologies, religions, and abilities. I hope You are able to find the better Way. Peace.

  • Nick L

    People who have nothing to lose in the system have everything to gain by destroying said system.

    And at this moment in America, the top 20% of the population have 84% of the pie. The second 20% of the population have 15% of the pie. The bottom 40% of the population have 1% of the pie.

    I give a bit of my pie so that starving people do not resort to cannibalism and try to eat me.

  • tapcity2

    This is the ugliest sort of propaganda, made to soften the brains of people trying to understand economics, so they'll vote for big business special interests.
    Yeah, right: We build our own roads and bridges and harbors, we create our own sewers, we pay for our own police forces, firemen and armies, we develop our own scientific methods. . . No we don't.
    The Koch brothers do buy off their own politicians, and hire their own corrupt pseudo intellectuals to dictate the spin about their private enterprises. They also pollute everybody's environment. . .
    In the very least, please remember that an equal opportunity society creates better workers, scientists and soldiers for the moneyed classes to exploit.

  • fixitladynow

    This view does not take into account the nature of society, with interdependent economies. It is egocentric it does not ask where the ingredients for making the pie come from?

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